Workplace Mental Health Statistics

Workplace Mental Health Statistics

Nowadays, everyone is concerned about their mental health at work. Even while our knowledge of poor mental health at work is evolving, reviewing the fundamentals is still important. Supporting mental health at work is a requirement, not just a nice-to-have. Similarly, staff members can urge their employers to provide mental health services at work. It is well known that risk factors at work can have a detrimental impact on mental health.


What is mental health?

A crucial aspect of overall health is mental health, just as physical and social wellbeing. A person is in a condition of mental health when they can manage daily challenges, work efficiently, realize their full potential, and give back to their community. It's crucial to emphasize that mental wellness is more than simply being free of mental illness.


Human performance and mental health are related concepts. They work together to enable human flourishing. For organizations trying to hire high-performing workers in today's world, employee mental wellness must be a top priority.


The following are the top five lessons learned about mental health:

  • The absence of mental illness is only one aspect of mental health.
  • Without mental wellness, you cannot be in good physical health.
  • Stress management is aided by good mental health.
  • Mental health and human performance are interrelated.
  • The importance of workplace wellbeing must be high.


The Power of Comprehensive Mental Health

The importance of discussing workplace mental health


Talking about mental health is no longer taboo. Because it enables people to handle difficulties and failures in their lives, both at work and at home, strong mental health is crucial. Teams in good mental health at work are more adaptable when roles and responsibilities change. Not to mention overcoming challenging obstacles. Employees' resilience is increased, stress is better managed, and they perform better in their jobs. In the end, it enables each person to realize their full potential.


The steps employers have taken in response, such as mental health days are important. Employers must undertake the difficult task of cultural change to provide long-term stability and mental wellness. Offering the newest apps or using euphemisms like "well-being" or "mental fitness" is insufficient. Employers need to tie their words and deeds together.

Related: Employee Mental Health Programs



Globally, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, and many of these people also suffer from anxiety symptoms. According to a new WHO-led study, lost productivity from depressive and anxiety disorders costs the global economy US$ 1 trillion annually. Unemployment is a well-known risk factor for mental health issues. Negative workplace conditions can result in physical and mental health issues, risky drug or alcohol usage, absenteeism, and lost productivity. Workplaces that support and encourage mental health are more likely to see declines in absenteeism and productivity.


One of the most pressing health issues in the United States is mental illness. 18.3% percent, or 44.7 million adults in the US over 18, reported having a mental disorder in 2016. In addition, 71% of people said they experienced at least one stress symptom, such as a headache, overwhelming feelings, or anxiety.


Numerous people who suffer from mental illnesses also require treatment for physical ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, and diseases of the muscles, bones, and joints. Treatment for those who have co-occurring mental health disorders and other physical issues is 2 to 3 times more expensive than for those who do not. The United States may save $37.6 billion to $67.8 billion annually by merging medical and behavioural healthcare services.


The US labor force is made up of about 63 percent of Americans. Activities aimed at enhancing adult wellbeing can be carried out at the workplace, which can be a crucial site. Workplace wellness initiatives can help individuals decrease and manage stress by identifying those who need support and connecting them to appropriate care. Employers can lower healthcare expenditures for both companies and employees by addressing mental health concerns in the workplace.


Related: HR's Role In Managing Employee Mental Health In The Workplace

Increased attrition. Many workers are quitting their employment due to mental health issues. Although the attrition rates in 2019 were already fairly high, they have already increased even further. 68 percent of Millennials (up from 50 percent in 2019) and 81 percent of Gen Zers (up from 75 percent in 2019) had quit jobs for mental health-related reasons, as opposed to 50 percent of respondents overall (34 percent in 2019). Ninety-one percent of respondents, up from 86 percent in 2019, thought that a company's culture should support mental wellness.


Extremely common. Employees at all organizational levels today frequently experience mental health issues. Seventy-six percent of participants—up from 59 percent in 2019—reported having had at least one symptom of a mental health issue in the previous year. Given the numerous macro stresses, that is not surprising, but it does provide evidence that almost everyone experiences mental health issues daily.


A 2019 Harvard study dispelled the assumption that successful leaders are immune by demonstrating the similar prevalence of mental health issues across all levels of seniority. A Harvard 2021 survey revealed that C-level and executive respondents were now actually more likely than other respondents to experience at least one mental health symptom, maybe as a result of having to lead during this unprecedented era.


Extensive disclosure. Compared to 2019, more employees are discussing their mental health at work. In the previous year, almost two-thirds of respondents spoke with someone at work about their mental health. In terms of lowering stigma, which influences the desire to seek treatment, this is a significant step in the right direction. However, compared to 2019 rates, just 49% of respondents claimed that discussing mental health at work was a positive experience or that they got a favourable or supportive reaction.


Workplace Mental Health Statistics Every Business Leader Should Keep in Mind




1. Employee Stress Statistics


2. Employee Depression Statistics

  • As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, 29% of employees say they are depressed. (Gartner HR Study)
  • Approximately 20% of the time, depression makes it difficult for someone to fulfil physical job duties, and about 35% of the time, it impairs cognitive function. (Center for Disease Control)
  • In Q4 2020, more than 70% of employees expressed some concern about their depression levels. (Pathways Mind at Work: A Report on Employee Mental Health)
  • The percentage of workers who obtain treatment to manage their depressive symptoms is just 57% for moderate depression and 40% for severe depression. (Center for Disease Control)
  • America's current depression costs society $210 billion annually.  (Analysis Group)


3. Employee Burnout Statistics


4. Work-Life Balance Statistics


5. Employee Substance Abuse Statistics


6. Employee Engagement and Productivity Statistics

  • Only 36% of workers are enthusiastic about their jobs and workplaces. (Gallup)
  • In 2021, there could be up to 15% of workers who are actively disengaged. (Gallup)
  • Nearly 20% of workers expressed extreme worry about their productivity levels in 2020. (Pathways Mind at Work: A Report on Employee Mental Health)
  • Business units and employees who are highly engaged earn 21% more money. (Gallup)


Related: This is the Importance of Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

7. Statistics on Employer Wellness and Mental Health Programs


Building a healthy workplace

The establishment of governmental laws, plans, and policies is crucial to ensuring a healthy workplace, as shown by the European Union Compass work in this area. It is possible to define a healthy workplace as one where all employee's health, safety, and well-being are actively promoted and protected by both workers and supervisors. According to a 2014 academic study, interventions should follow a 3-pronged strategy:

  • Protect mental health by reducing work-related risk factors.
  • Promote mental health by developing the positive aspects of work and the strengths of employees.
  • Address mental health problems regardless of cause.


Building on this, a World Economic Forum handbook outlines actions businesses may take to establish a healthy workplace, such as:

  • Awareness of the workplace environment and its potential for change to support various employees improved mental health
  • Taking inspiration from corporate leaders and staff members who have taken initiative.
  • By being aware of what other businesses who have taken action have done, you may avoid recreating the wheel.
  • To create stronger workplace mental health policies, it is important to comprehend the potential and demands of certain employees.
  • Knowledge about resources for assistance and locations to look for it.


The following are some interventions and best practices to safeguard and advance mental health at work:

  • application and enforcement of health and safety rules and procedures, diagnosis of distress, prevention of dangerous psychoactive substance use, and management of sickness;
  • letting personnel know that assistance is available;
  • organizational strategies that promote a good work-life balance; involve employees in decision-making, giving them a sense of control and participation;
  • programs for employee's professional advancement; and
  • acknowledging and honouring employee's contributions.


Related: Mental health in the workplace: What you need to know

Interventions for mental health should be provided as a part of a comprehensive approach to health and wellbeing that addresses prevention, early detection, support, and rehabilitation. Where these treatments are available, occupational health services or specialists may assist organizations in putting them into practice. Even without these resources, several improvements may be undertaken to preserve and promote mental health. Involving stakeholders and personnel at all levels when delivering interventions for protection, promotion, and support and assessing their efficacy is essential to success.


According to cost-benefit analyses of techniques for addressing mental health, there are net benefits. For instance, recent research led by the WHO estimated that improved productivity and health would yield a return of US$4 for every US$1 invested in scalable treatment for common mental diseases.


Supporting those who suffer from mental illnesses at work

Organizations have to help people with mental illnesses stay in the workforce or return to it. According to research, being unemployed, especially for an extended period, can negatively affect mental health. Many of the above-mentioned projects could be beneficial for those who have mental illnesses. People with mental illnesses can continue working or return to it with the help of helpful and discreet communication with management, flexible hours, job redesign, dealing with problematic workplace dynamics, and other factors. For those with depression and other mental disorders, having access to evidence-based therapies has been beneficial. Employers must make sure people feel supported, able to seek help, and able to return to or continue working while being given the resources they need due to the stigma associated with mental disorders.


A globally enforceable legal foundation for advancing the rights of people with disabilities is provided by Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (including psychosocial disabilities). It acknowledges that every person with a disability has the right to work, that they should be treated equally, that they shouldn't face discrimination, and that they should receive support at work.


The good news? Treatment works…

Employees who have received treatment for mental illness report higher levels of job satisfaction and efficacy.

And it's economical. Effective mental health care for employees lowers overall medical expenditures, boosts productivity, reduces absenteeism, and lowers the cost of impairment. The bottom line is that the company benefits from investing in a mentally healthy workforce.



The statistics you have just seen are startling, yet they don't give the whole story. It can be difficult to measure a single employee's mental health, and the continuous difficulties brought on by the epidemic continue to affect and mould the minds and well-being of American workers. One thing is certain as business leaders look to the future: employees want mental health and well-being support to be a cornerstone of the workforce and their place of employment. Employees are equipped to successfully manage their emotions and stress when a mental health program is implemented. Employees can better manage their jobs and personal lives when you give them coping mechanisms and well-being skills.


The first step in promoting good mental health in the workplace is raising awareness of the full spectrum of employee mental health experiences. Companies that support and advocate for mental health for those who are struggling or who are not thriving benefit all of their employees. Companies can set an example by de-stigmatizing the subject of mental health and considering their position in society more broadly. We can redefine mental health by emphasizing strategies that enhance workers' personal and professional growth and offering assistance and access to clinical care for those who need it most. Companies can offer their employees the greatest mental health programs with awareness, innovation, and support.



Any mental illness is characterized by any mental, behavioural, or emotional condition that meets DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) criteria within the previous year (excluding developmental disorders and substance use disorders). Impacts of mental illness might range from complete recovery to mild, moderate, or even severe disability.


Mindfulness. A psychological state in which you are constantly aware of how you are feeling without passing judgment on it. Practices that promote self-control and advance abilities like tranquillity and concentration can help one develop mindfulness.


Milton Jack is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.



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Milton Jack
This article was written by Milton a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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